Link building is one of the more difficult aspect of search engine marketing.
Whilst on-page optimisation is within your immediate control (assuming that you have control of your website), it can be much harder to influence what other people say about your site and even to get other sites to link to you.
As we often say to our clients, you need to adopt a PR mentality when considering link building. If there is no story, it is very hard to sell in to journalists. In exacatly the same way, you need to create something that is worthy of links if you are serious about link building.
UK’s largest parking space letting agents, Park Let, recently launched an execellent parking space price-guide tool that serves as an excellent example of creating a genuinely useful piece of interactive content.
It is the first real-time, location-specific tool available in the UK. Based on both current contracts and advertised spaces, the interactive tool allows prospective landlords and tenants to calculate the true market value of how much parking spaces and garages are renting for today in their area.
The tool is completely free to use and no site registration is required. So why have they gone to the effort of developing such a tool?
They are in a unique position as they have the data that is required to develop such a tool – the prices reflect the prices currently being achieved with real life contracts.
More importantly, they understand online marketing and appreciate that the long term SEO benefits of creating such tools justifies the time / effort required to develop the tool.
Not only does the tool give them something to shout about (yes, press releases have been issued…) but the tool will no doubt attract links from other sites..
It is these links that will deliver the long term benefit. The big search engines will see other sites linking to the tool and these links become ‘votes’ or 3rd party endorsements of the site – this will help boost the organic search rankings for that page and ultimately the whole site.
An excellent example of going the extra mile to create something that is both unique and highly valuable – free to use but ultimately very valuable in terms of search engine rankings.